Saturday, September 16, 2006

Team Lord's Shoddy Treatment of Autistic Children

Team Lord's treatment of autistic persons over the past 7 years has been shoddy; marked by dithering, delay and indifference. It is true that the Lord government, after prolonged pressure from parents, has taken some steps to help autistic children for which the parents had long advocated. What the Lord government doesn't acknowledge is that the reforms implemented do not help autistic children of school age and do not help autistic adults. Nor is it acknowledged that Team Lord ignored and literally left unread for a period of 1 full year an interdepartmental committee report on autism. After public rebuke from many sources, including the Telegraph Journal opinion which follows this comment, the Lord government announced autism funding 6 months later on April 1, 2003. Six months later, however, 2 years after the release of the IDC report on autism the government had still not decided how it would spend the money announced on April Fool's Day, 2003. I have a word for Mr. Lord about his shoddy treatment of autistic persons. No one was fooled.

"SHODDY TREATMENT: [Thumbs down] to Health & Wellness Minister
Elvy Robichaud for not dealing with the findings of a report on
autism - one that has been on the shelf for 12 months. A key service
sought by parents of autistic children is intensive early
intervention, seen as a crucial element in the child's normal
development in later life. If this spending isn't available for one,
two, or three years, then families with autistic children have a
right to know. The are taxpayers and should be treated as such."

New Brunswick Telegraph Journal, provincial edition, page A7,
November 8, 2002.

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